The purpose of last week's blog was to hopefully allow parents to better understand toddler tantrums and what is causing them in order that they can feel more in tune with their child! This week is looking at the next step - once there is a tantrum - what can I do? This hopefully can help parents feel more in control. Here are 5 top tips:
Identify Triggers – a tantrum does not happen in a vacuum and is most often a response to something within their environment. If you have a child who is having regular tantrums it is worth keeping a diary and starting to identify the triggers for your child.
Prepare your child for being able to handle certain situations - If you know how to recognise the triggers for your child, it is possible to prepare them that they will be in that situation and avoid a tantrum in the first place. This can be done through role playing; talking things through; or preparing a social story.
Effective use of time out – The idea of time out is really an opportuity for your child to calm down and to be removed from the situation they are in. It will only work if your child has enough time to actually calm down and studies show that to fully calm down it can take up to 2 hours in toddlers. Whilst thay can't stay in time out for that amount of time, it is worth avoiding things you know may set them off!
Don’t reward the tantrum – It is not about giving them what they want - try to distract them with something else.
Do not engage with the tantrum – They need to understand that there are better ways to communicate than tantrums. Toddlers are also less likely to accept distractions once they are agitated. Therefore the 2 best approaches for most people are time out and ignoring!
Good luck and hope this phase is over soon!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!